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NBA CATCHING THE FRANCHISE RELOCATION VIRUS? SPURS SAY NO
Published February 2, 1996
Spurs President Jack Diller denied a TV station report yesterday that the Spurs were considering a move to New Orleans. Diller told the San Antonio EXPRESS-NEWS: "Absolutely not. I was in touch with Superdome officials [Thursday] but that was in reference to a proposed visit to the new facility being built in Tampa Bay. I had planned to visit that arena, much the same as I've visited the new playing arenas around the country. The Superdome officials have the contract to manage the Tampa Bay facility. However, the Tampa bay arena is not at a ready enough stage now to look at it." Diller, acknowledging that the team has received numerous offers from other cities: "We're not interested. Right now we are looking at how to make the Alamodome work or way to keep the team in San Antonio." But sources "close to the situation" say the Spurs did receive a "very viable" $150M offer from a New Orleans group, but that talks had "closed off" about a week ago (Glenn Rogers, San Antonio EXPRESS-NEWS, 2/2). San Antonio station KENS-TV cited unidentified sources who say Spurs execs have spoken with officials in New Orleans about team playing in a new $84M arena with 40 luxury suites. Construction on the New Orleans facility is scheduled to begin in June. The Spurs have only 11 luxury suites at the Alamodome. While Diller also told KENS the club "is not looking to move," he did say the team is "displeased with the Alamodome" and cited the fact that it was built for football. The Spurs have a 10-year lease that expires in 2004 (ESPNET, 2/2).